Monday, April 9, 2012

Rooney - Rooney

Robert Carmine paid attention to what his older siblings were listening to while he was growing up, later taking note from big brother Jason Schwartzman and his band, Phantom Planet. Carmine and pals compose Rooney, and their self-titled debut is roughcast with chunky riffs and magnetic harmonies, slyly challenging Phantom Planet's glossy pop sound at the same time. Producers Keith Forsey and Brian Reeves craft a solid mix of power-chord punk and chamber pop bits for a dynamite collection. It's sunny rock & roll, really and incredibly fresh in avoiding any kind of comparison to Weezer. The first three tracks introduce Rooney's infectious indie pop style, showcasing how sharp the band is in and outside the studio. "Blueside" flirts with '60s surf rock while "Stay Away" churns such energy for a jagged, punk cut. The listener should be sucked in by now thanks to Rooney's boyish charm. If not, the playful, jilted love song "If It Were Up to Me" will leave you swooning. Rooney relishes in the band's youth, concentrating on getting the perfect hook without sounding too silly. The five-piece are barely old enough to drink, yet they deliver a real rock sound that's rich in emotion and cleverness. From the swanky guitar work of "I'm Shakin'" to the Cars-inspired "Simply Because," Rooney's sweet demeanor is undeniable. The album's quirky appeal is reflective of Rooney's self-assuredness as musicians, and likely characteristic of where the band stands personally. -AMG
Listen: HERE

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